[Editor's Note: Greetings once more from Bristol. I was busy dealing with ESPN business yesterday (and will be doing more of the same today), so Phil handled today's main entry. Huge thanks to him for covering the day's major piece of uni news. — Paul]
By Phil Hecken
Yesterday evening, the Arkansas Razorbacks unveiled a set of new uniforms (football, basketball, baseball, etc.) in another university-wide rebrand by Nike. It’s been a busy ten or so days for swooshie, as this was the sixth set of unis they’ve unveiled since April 11th. It’s quite possible they saved the best for last too.
We’ll start with the football. So far (and hopefully, in toto) there were just two uniforms for the squad — a cardinal home and a white road (click on any images to enlarge):
That seems to be it*. No black, no gray, no crazy invented colors — just cardinal and white. It’s possible there are other uniforms or combos, but neither appeared on Nike or the school’s websites. And I have to say, the unis are very restrained. Two helmets (crmison and white) and two sets of jerseys and pants. The red jerseys have white designs on the sleeve (I’m guessing to mimic a hogs’ tusks), and white triangular shaped inserts at the armpit. The white jerseys have the reciprocal striping, with red “tusks” on the sleeve and cardinal triangular inserts.
* I say “seems” to be it because all that was shown were the red and white uniforms. Nike’s press release indicates for secondary colors: “The color black is sophisticated and powerful, and has been added to the secondary color palette for limited use. Additionally, a neutral palette of Anthracite and Dark Steel Gray has been included to add depth and flexibility. Gray is a perfect neutral because it sits between the extremes of black and white. It is the color of intellect and knowledge, and is classic, sleek and refined.”
I just threw up in my mouth a little. Excuse me while I wash the corporate-speak from the recesses of my mind. Now then…
The pants have a tusk-shaped stripe down the legs (with the “Classic Running Razorback” logo on the upper thigh):
But the rebrand wasn’t so much about reworking the football uniforms (although they did, and they look good) — it was about establishing a school-wide team identity — across the sports. What was of greater importance was the updated brand identity, as Nike puts it, “to evolve and enhance athletic brand across all 19 sports programs.”
The school kept their current side-facing Razorback logo (“Classic Running Razorback”), adding a secondary mark (“Forward Facing Hog”), and a tertiary letter (“Script A”), which looks a lot like the Oakland Athletics’ “A”:
The other thing the University and Nike sought to do was to create a consisten look in their typography and wordmarks. The new wordmarks are thus:
The school & Nike have now created a “consistent” look across the sports, with the new “Arkansas” and “Razorbacks” wordmarks you see above. They’ve also created (shockingly) custom number fonts, but I have not seen any logo slicks — so the numbers above (and what you’ll see below for other sports) are all I’ve seen — but from what I’ve seen they are not over-the-top and highly legible. Nike bills the number fonts as “contemporary rounded numerals (which) serve as a balance to the angular wordmarks and Razorback logos.”
Not bad (so far) right? I’m not convinced there won’t be a black or anthracite uniform down the road, but if this is it, it’s very nice.
Let’s take a quick look at the other sports that were revealed last night:
The men’s uniforms are on the top (and there’s the promised anthracite), and the women’s are on the bottom. As you can see, it is a fairly staid design, with a little tusk-like stripe on the jerseys and an angular stripe on the pants. The Running Razorback is on the pants, with the new wordmark across the chest of the jerseys.
The only uniform (or part of the uniform) shown was the cardinal top — the men with a button-down jersey, and the ladies with a pullover.
Track & Field:
Soccer & Volleyball:
Not bad right? If you want to know more, you can watch a couple of videos (uniforms, “innovation” — try not to laugh too hard when Arkansas coaches fellate Nike’s design team) below, and here’s the Nike press release.
On Paul’s good/stupid scale, this one is definitely a “GOOD” (notwithstanding the fact that a black and/or gray uni set may crop up for football), and if grading, I’d give it an A-. For this rebrand, anyway, I’d say Nike has done a nice job — proving the old adage, once again, that less is sometimes more. Much more.
By Brinke Guthrie
Kids, you may not know this if you’re not old enough, but OJ Simpson was once a famous football star before he became a fixture on Court TV. The Juice was loose in this “OJ Dingo All Stars” jersey, complete with the NFL shield.
Here’s the rest of this week’s haul:
ª Check out this 49ers MacGregor uniform set. Approved by “NFL Enterprises,” too. Fantastic box artwork, from Cincinnati 32, Ohio.
• Someone represented Northern California in Punt, Pass & Kick way back when — this jacket must have belonged to them.
• Look closely at the Jets helmet on this 1970s Namath thermal cup. Instead of “Jets,” you get “JWN,” for Joe Willie Namath.
• The Buffalo Bills’ future is somewhat up in the air, and will probably include a new stadium — somewhere. Here’s an early-1970s souvenir ashtray from Rich Stadium , which must have been one of the earliest corporate-named sports facilities.
• Here’s a lot of late-1960s/early-1970s Browns and Bengals posters. Why a Browns fan would also want a Bengals poster (or vice versa) I don’t know, but here you go.
• Before today’s Miami Marlinn, there were yesterday’s Miami Marlins, as shown on this nifty window sticker.
• And of course today’s San Francisco Giants were yesterday’s New York Giants, who had outstanding cover art on this 1951 program.
• Baseball’s Dave Kingman was known for his all-or-nothing approaching to hitting: He’d homer or strike out. But he was clearly King Kong on this vintage T-shirt (wearing period-appropriate Pumas, of course).
• This 1969 NBA Mini Basketball Kit is in great shape. Can’t say I have seen this design before, either. This one is marked “Midwest/Pacific” division.
• Here’s a terrific-looking 3D puzzle of Jerry World (aka Phone Company Stadium, home of the Cowboys). I like everything about it except the goalposts.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.
Baseball News: The Mets debuted their camouflage jerseys last night. The unis didn’t look much better on the jumbotron. Even Mr. Met wore camo. Good thing is they won’t be wearing them again until July 7th (thanks, Phil and Michael Sand). … J.D. Martinez made his debut with the Tigers last night and had his first and middle initials on his jersey while Victor Martinez did not have any initials. So does that count as FNOB for J.D., since he uses his initials as his first name? (From Jeffrey Sak.) … We previously posted a sneak peek of what the Cubs and Diamondbacks will be wearing on April 23rd at 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, but here is a look at the promotional jersey being given away that day (thanks, Phil). … The Red Sox wore their “Boston Strong” uniforms yesterday in honor of the Boston Marathon (thanks, Phil). … “I was up in Adamstown, Pennsylvania this weekend doing some antique/thrift hunting, and I found an Art Gaines Baseball Camp Jersey,” says Jim Adair. “It came with the camp’s brochure, which advertised Rogers Hornsby as being on hand at least once during the camp to instruct campers.” … While exploring the 1845 New York Knickerbockers’ game books, Ralph Carhart noticed that the record keeper was fastidious in keeping track of fines, including a mysterious and recurring six cent fine for “leaving with belt.” Is this for leaving with the wide, tooled leather belt or for something else? … The University of Florida softball team wore these cream-colored unis against Texas A&M over the weekend. Check out the sweet stirrups (from Andrew Gage). … The latest team to wear pink: Louisville. … The Georgia Tech baseball team is having a Twitter poll to let fans decide the design of the grass at Russ Chandler Stadium (from Britton Thomas). … As you probably know, the Rangers changed their squatchees this season from contrast-colored to cap-colored. But they must have had some old Fudd caps lying around, because Elvis Andrus went flaps-down with a contrasting squatchee last night (good spot by Joey Breeland). … Ike Davis was traded from the Mets to the Pirates last week, which means he’s now worn two different Ralph Kiner memorial patches in the same season. How often does that type of thing happen?
NFL News: Under the radar sponsorship switch: The Denver Broncos tweeted a picture of Peyton Manning working out yesterday while wearing Under Armour shoes. It looks like both Peyton and Eli switched from longtime sponsor Reebok for Under Armour and have been wearing their new gear in public recently (from David Coonce). … Two from Brinke: “Mean Jeans” Field is now covered in turf. … Here is a picture of NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and CBS Sports president Bill MacPhail posing with a set of bobbleheads in 1964. … New “intimidating cleats” for 49ers LB Patrick Willis. “Yeah, right,” says Brinke.
College Football News: We have a new logo for the Chicken Sammich bowl! … Interesting article on the Illinois uniform rebrand (thanks, Phil). … A Georgia high schooler has verbally committed to Auburn, and in this article he listed his reasons, including the following: “Auburn probably has one of the most superb equipment managers in the nation. He just re-invented the shoulder pads again. That’s one of the big things with my mom. She wants me to be safe” (from Greg Trandel).
Hockey News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: An answer to the Ken Dryden heads that Marc Hammil found at an antiques market in Ontario. “Back in the 1970’s, Colgate (the only brand that my parents bought) toothpaste in Canada had these as inserts in their toothpaste boxes for various NHL stars,” says Dave Mills. “They also had a series of player ‘headshot’ stamps that could be licked and put in an album. Both the heads and stamps were licensed by the NHLPA but not licensed by the NHL and thus had no team logos.” Joe Szurly adds that Colgate made sixteen busts of potential members of Team Canada for the September 1972 Summit Series including Bobby Orr, Jacques Plante, and Norm Ullman — whose statue was misspelled as Ullmann. The Summit Series was an eight-game series between Canada and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.
Soccer News: Sporting KC wore plain white armbands on Saturday to honor the three people killed during a shooting in Overland Park, Kansas on April 13 (from Christian Sinclair). …Two from Yusuke Toyoda: Major sporting good sports in the UK aren’t stocking the Nike England World Cup shirt because it is too expensive for fans. … Atlanta’s MLS expansion team colors will be red and black with some gold. … The rest from Trevor Williams: The Paris SG 2014-2015 home, away, and alternate kits have been leaked. … Better photos of the Arsenal 2014-2015 home and away kits. … The new Atlético Paranaense 2014 Home and Away Kits were released on Friday. … The Argentine River Plate 2014 away kit was leaked.
NBA News: Stephen Curry wore custom ankle braces with NBA logo stickers on them during Game 1 of Warriors vs. Clippers playoff series. This isn’t a new development (Curry’s been wearing braces since his ankle injuries last year) but we haven’t pointed them out before. Great close-up pictures from Joshua Buksbaum. … In an ESPN article yesterday, Jon Greenberg wrote about how Joakim Noah’s election as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year had to do with a change in shoes. “[Noah's] change in footwear, from Le Coq Sportif to adidas, this season seems to have helped stave off his frequent foot problems.” (from Jennifer Hayden)
Grab Bag: Did you ever wonder who the most Googled athlete is? These infographics show who they are state-by-state, along with specific data about the Big Four sports (thanks, Andrew Powell-Morse).
On a personal note: Paul here. This little note I’m writing is the only part of today’s content that came from me. Let’s please hear it for Phil (who wrote the lede), Brinke (Collector’s Corner), and Garrett (the Ticker) for providing a great day’s worth of content. I’m lucky to have such great people who can step up when I’m indisposed — thanks, guys.